Saturday, October 1, 2016

[Botany • 2015] Thismia puberula • A New Species (Thismiaceae) from Southern Vietnam

Thismia puberula 


Thismia puberula, a new species of Thismiaceae, is described and illustrated. The species was discovered in 2014 during botanical survey of Chu Yang Sin national park (Dak Lak province, Southern Vietnam). Thismia puberula possesses vermiform roots and mitriform inner tepals. It is most similar to T. angustimitraT. mirabilisTmucronata and T. okhaensis. The new species differs from related species mainly by dome-shaped annulus with delimited vertical and horizontal parts covered by hairs, broad mitre with foveae, inner mitre surface covered by papillate trichomes, and presence of interstaminal glands. An updated key to Vietnamese species of Thismia is provided.

Keywords: Thismia, taxonomy, key, mycoheterotrophic plants, Southern Vietnam, Chu Yang Sin national park, flora, biodiversity, Monocots

Description of the new species

Thismia puberula Nuraliev, sp. nov. (Fig. 1–3)

Thismia puberula differs from related T. angustimitra Chantanaorrapint (2008: 524), T. mirabilis K.Larsen (1965: 171), T. mucronata Nuraliev in Nuraliev et al. (2014: 246) and T. okhaensis Luu, Tich, G.Tran & Q.D.Dinh in Truong et al. (2014: 190) by the domeshaped annulus with delimited vertical and horizontal parts and by the annulus outer surface covered by hairs. This species also differs in the following combination of morphological traits: flower short (1.9 cm long), mitre broader than hypanthium, mitre outer surface with foveae, mitre inner surface covered by papillate trichomes, base of filament occupying the entire height of the inner surface of the annulus, and the presence of interstaminal glands.

Type:— VIETNAM. Dak Lak province: Lak district, Bong Krang municipality, Chu Yang Sin national park, 12 km S from Krong Kmar village, in the forest, on an islet of a small river, elevation ca. 1100 m a.s.l., N 12° 23’ 41’’, E 108° 20’ 55’’, 28 May 2014, Nuraliev 1000 (holotype MW!, stored in ethanol).

Maxim Nuraliev, Anton Beer, Andrey Kuznetsov and Svetlana Kuznetsova. 2015. Thismia puberula (Thismiaceae), A New Species from Southern Vietnam.
Phytotaxa. 234(2); 133–142. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.234.2.3

[Ichthyology • 2016] Corydoras hephaestus • Wrapped in Flames: A New Remarkably Colored Species (Teleostei: Callichthyidae) from the Rio Madeira basin, Rondônia State, Brazil

Corydoras hephaestus 
Ohara, Tencatt & Britto, 2016


A new species of Corydoras is described from the upper Rio Machado, Rio Madeira basin, Rondônia State, Brazil. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners by the absence of contact between the posterior process of the parieto-supraoccipital and the nuchal plate; a ventral laminar expansion of the infraorbital 1 conspicuously developed; and the posterior margin of the pectoral-fin spine with serrations along almost of its entire length, only lacking in the distal portion. Additionally, Corydoras hephaestus possesses dorsal and pectoral spines short, and exhibits an unusual color pattern in life. The conservation status of the new species and other endemic species are briefly commented.

Keywords: Pisces, Amazon, Corydoradinae, Fish, Endemism, Conservation

Etymology. The specific epithet hephaestus is from the Greek, Ἥφαιστος (or Hēphaistos), the Greek god of fire, metalworking, forges, and blacksmiths. Alluding to the red color of the body and fins. A noun in apposition.

Ohara, Willian M., Luiz F. C. Tencatt & Marcelo R. Britto. 2016. Wrapped in Flames: Corydoras hephaestus, A New Remarkably Colored Species from the Rio Madeira basin (Teleostei: Callichthyidae). Zootaxa. 4170(3): 539–552. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4170.3.7


[Herpetology • 2013] Boiga flaviviridis • A New Species of Cat Snake (Serpentes: Colubridae: Boiga) from Dry Forests of eastern Peninsular India

Boiga flaviviridis  
Vogel & Ganesh, 2013 

A new species of cat snake, related to Boiga beddomei (Wall, 1909), is described from the dry forests of eastern Peninsular India. It occupies a large geographic range from Berhampore (type locality), near the River Mahanadi in the northeast to Kaigal near the southern Eastern Ghats in the southwest. The new species is diagnosed by having the following combination of characters: 19 dorsal scale rows at midbody, a high number of ventral scales for the genus Boiga (248–259), a yellowish-green dorsal colouration with numerous faint black bands, an uniform, unpatterned yellow-coloured venter and a relatively short tail (0.180–0.200 of the total length).

Key words: Boiga flaviviridis sp. nov., B. beddomei, B. ceylonensis, Berhampore, Sriharikota, Kaigal, India

Vogel, Gernot and S. r. Ganesh. 2013. A New Species of Cat Snake (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae: Boiga) from Dry Forests of eastern Peninsular India. Zootaxa. 3637(2): 158-168.

[Herpetology • 2016] Archipelago-wide Survey of Philippine Forest Dragons (Agamidae: Gonocephalus): Multilocus Phylogeny uncovers Unprecedented Levels of Genetic Diversity in A Biodiversity Hotspot


We utilize robust geographical genetic sampling, and phylogenetic analysis of a new multilocus dataset to provide the first inference of relationships among Philippine Gonocephalus, combined with estimates of putative species diversity, in this almost unknown island radiation. Our results reveal startling levels of undocumented diversity, genetically partitioned at a number of geographical levels across the archipelago. We present the first survey of genetic lineage diversity, coupled with an archipelago-wide clarification of geographical structure in a unique archipelago-endemic radiation. Philippine Gonocephalus have previously escaped the attention of biogeographers as a result of the taxonomic confusion associated with low numbers of preserved specimens in museum collections. With new vouchered material and genetic sampling from a comprehensive, archipelago-wide vertebrate biodiversity inventory, our findings join many recent studies in highlighting the unprecedented faunal diversity in one of the world's most unique biodiversity conservation hotspots.

Keywords: biogeography; diversification; Islands; lizard; reptile

Luke J. Welton, Cameron D. Siler, L. L. Grismer, Arvin C. Diesmos, Jack W. Sites and Rafe M. Brown. 2016. Archipelago-wide Survey of Philippine Forest Dragons (Agamidae: Gonocephalus): Multilocus Phylogeny uncovers Unprecedented Levels of Genetic Diversity in A Biodiversity Hotspot.
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. DOI: 10.1111/bij.12878 

[Ichthyology • 2016] A Review of the Genus Garra Hamilton 1822 of Bhutan (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae), including the Descriptions of Two New Species and Three Additional Records

Garra arupi  Nebeshwar, Vishwanath & Das, 2009
Garra bimaculacauda & Garra parastenorhynchus  
Thoni, Gurung & Mayden, 2016 


Seven species of Garra are herein accounted for in Bhutan. Three new records of known species, Garra arupiGbirostris, and Glissorhynchus, and two new speciesGarra bimaculacauda sp. nov. and Garra parastenorhynchus sp. nov., are reported from central and southern Bhutan. Garra bimaculacauda sp. nov. is most notably different from its congeners by the presence of two dark spots on the lobes of the caudal fin, having one spot on each lobe. Meristic and morphometric differences from northeastern Indian congeners exist as well. Garra parastenorhynchus sp. nov. is differentiated from its congeners by the presence of a prominent, overhanging, club-shaped proboscis, and a suite of meristic and morphometric characters. Notes on the taxonomy are provided for some species. Notes are provided on the biology and ecology for most species, which have been inferred from field observations. Ranges are expanded for two recently described taxa from Northeast India Garupi, and Gbirostris. A key is provided to the currently known species of Garra within Bhutan.

Keywords: Pisces, Garrinae, Garra bimaculacauda sp. nov., Garra parastenorhynchus sp. nov.

Thoni, R. j., Dhan B. Gurung & R. L. Mayden. 2016. A Review of the Genus Garra Hamilton 1822 of Bhutan, including the Descriptions of Two New Species and Three Additional Records (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae). Zootaxa. 4169(1): 115–132.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4169.1.5


Friday, September 30, 2016

[Paleontology • 2016] Extreme Modification of the Tetrapod Forelimb in a Triassic Diapsid Reptile, Drepanosaurus unguicaudatus

In this illustration set 212 million years ago in what is today New Mexico, a Drepanosaurus rips away tree bark with its massive claw and powerful arm.
Painting by Victor Leshyk  @VictorLeshyk 

- Three-dimensional fossils of the Triassic diapsid Drepanosaurus are described
- Fossils support hypothesis that the forelimb is unique among tetrapods
- The radius and ulna are unequal in length, and two carpals are longer than the radius
- Forelimb range of motion and large claws suggest specialized hook-and-pull digging

In Brief
Pritchard et al. describe new fossils of the Triassic diapsid Drepanosaurus. Previously known from a single crushed skeleton, the new three-dimensional fossils show a unique forelimb with asymmetric radii and ulnae and elongate carpals. The forelimb and enlarged second manual ungual suggest a digging similar to modern anteaters.

The tetrapod forelimb is one of the most versatile structures in vertebrate evolution, having been coopted for an enormous array of functions. However, the structural relationships between the bones of the forelimb have remained largely unchanged throughout the 375 million year history of Tetrapoda, with a radius and ulna made up of elongate, paralleling shafts contacting a series of shorter carpal bones. These features are consistent across nearly all known tetrapods, suggesting that the morphospace encompassed by these taxa is limited by some sort of constraint(s). Here, we report on a series of three-dimensionally preserved fossils of the small-bodied (<1 m) Late Triassic diapsid reptile Drepanosaurus, from the Chinle Formation of New Mexico, USA, which dramatically diverge from this pattern. Along with the crushed type specimen from Italy, these specimens have a flattened, crescent-shaped ulna with a long axis perpendicular to that of the radius and hyperelongate, shaft-like carpal bones contacting the ulna that are proximodistally longer than the radius. The second digit supports a massive, hooked claw. This condition has similarities to living ‘‘hook-and-pull’’ digging mammals and demonstrates that specialized, modern ecological roles had developed during the Triassic Period, over 200 million years ago. The forelimb bones in Drepanosaurus represent previously unknown morphologies for a tetrapod and, thus, a dramatic expansion of known tetrapod forelimb morphospace.

Adam C. Pritchard, Alan H. Turner, Randall B. Irmis, Sterling J. Nesbitt and Nathan D. Smith. 2016. Extreme Modification of the Tetrapod Forelimb in a Triassic Diapsid Reptile.  Current Biology. 

212-Million-Year-Old Reptile Had Anteater-Like Arms | Popular Science via @PopSci

[Ichthyology • 2016] Etmopterus alphus • A New Lanternshark (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae) from the south-western Indian Ocean

Etmopterus alphus  
  Ebert, Straube, Leslie & Weigmann, 2016   

   DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2016.1198275 


A new species of lanternshark, Etmopterus alphus (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae), is described from the south-western Indian Ocean. The new species resembles other members of the ‘Etmopterus lucifer’ clade in having linear rows of dermal denticles and most closely resembles E. molleri from the south-western Pacific. The new species is fairly common along the upper continental slopes off central Mozambique, at depths between 472 and 558 m, and is also found on the southern Madagascar Ridge in 650–792 m depth. It can be distinguished from other members of the E. lucifer clade by a combination of characteristics, including arrangement of flank and caudal markings, dimension of flank markings and shape, size and arrangement of dermal denticles along the body. Molecular analysis further supports the distinction of E. alphus from other members of the E. lucifer clade.

Keywords: Chondrichthyes, elasmobranch, Etmopterus lucifer clade, Madagascar Ridge, molecular analysis, Mozambique, new species, 

Ebert, D.A., Straube, N., Leslie, R.W. and Weigmann, S. 2016. Etmopterus alphus n. sp.: A New Lanternshark (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae) from the south-western Indian Ocean.
 African Journal of Marine Science.   DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2016.1198275

[Ichthyology • 2014] Schistura shuensis • A New Species of Loach (Teleostei: Nemacheilidae) from Myanmar

Schistura shuensis 
 Bohlen & Šlechtová, 2014 

Schistura shuensis, new species, is described from Shu stream on the eastern slope of the Rakhine range in Myanmar. It reaches up to 39.1 mm SL and is diagnosed by a combination of the following characters: males with suborbital flap, bearing tubercles on its posterior part, females with suborbital groove; caudal fin deeply forked (mean length of median caudal-fin rays 57 % of length of upper caudal lobe); caudal peduncle shallow (depth 11-12 % SL and 49-63 % of body depth); and presence of 6-9 indistinct dark brown bars on body.

 Joerg Bohlen and Vendula Šlechtová. 2014. Schistura shuensis, A New Species of Loach from Myanmar (Teleostei: Nemacheilidae).  Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters. 24(3): 217-223.

[Botany • 2016] Gastrodia cooperae & G. molloyi • Two New Species of Gastrodia (Gastrodieae, Orchidaceae) endemic to New Zealand

Gastrodia cooperae and G. molloyi 
Lehnebach & J.R.Rolfe 
DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.277.3.2


Two new species of GastrodiaGastrodia cooperae and G. molloyi are described. These species are endemic to New Zealand and can be distinguished from other New Zealand Gastrodia by the length of the column and the colour of the labellum tip. Gastrodia cooperae is known from only three localities and it is ranked as Threatened: Nationally Critical.

Keywords: AFLP, conservation, myco-heterotrophy, new species, orchid, threatened flora, Monocots

Carlos A. Lehnebach, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Jasmine Gibbins and Peter Ricthie. 2016. Two New Species of Gastrodia (Gastrodieae, Orchidaceae) endemic to New Zealand.
 Phytotaxa. 277(3); 237–254. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.277.3.2

Thursday, September 29, 2016

[Herpetology • 2016] Out of Borneo, Again and Again: Biogeography of the Stream Toad Genus Ansonia Stoliczka (Anura: Bufonidae) and the Discovery of the First Limestone Cave-dwelling Species, Ansonia khaochangensis, from southern Thailand

 Ansonia khaochangensis  
Grismer, Wood, Aowphol, Cota, Grismer, Murdoch, Aguilar & Grismer, 2016 

Cave-dwelling Stream-Toad | คางคกห้วยถ้ำ


Subsequent to the Miocene (approximately 35 Mya), Borneo has served as an insular refuge and a source of colonization for a broad range of species emigrating to others parts of Sundaland. A phylogeny-based historical biogeographical hypothesis for the Stream Toad genus Ansonia supports multiple instances of an out-of-Borneo scenario. An ancestral range estimation indicates that in situ speciation of Ansonia on the island of Borneo during the Late Miocene and Pliocene (approximately 2–13 Mya) eventually resulted in an invasion of the Philippines, Sumatra, and two independent invasions of the Thai-Malay Peninsula. When collecting material for the biogeographical analysis, a new species of Ansonia, Ansonia khaochangensis sp. nov. was discovered in a limestone cave from the Khao Chang karst tower in Phangnga Province, in southern Thailand. Ansonia khaochangensis sp. nov. can be differentiated from all other species of Ansonia by having a unique combination of morphological and colour pattern characteristics. Phylogenetic evidence based on the mitochondrial genes 12S and 16S indicates that it is nested within a clade of other species distributed north of the Isthmus of Kra. The cave lifestyle of this new species is a unique and a significant departure from lotic environments common to most other species of Ansonia. The reproductive biology of this species is unknown.

Ansonia khaochangensis sp. nov.
Cave-dwelling Stream-Toad

Diagnosis. Ansonia khaochangensis sp. nov. can be differentiated from all other species of Ansonia by the combination of the following characters: maximum SVL of 35.5 mm (34.0–35.3 mm) for females and 32.0 mm (31.9–32.0 mm) for males; snout projecting beyond lower jaw; tympanum visible; vocal sac opening on right; no white or yellow tubercle at rictus; no tuberculate, interorbital ridges; finger and toe tips rounded, bulbous but not forming discs; first finger not reaching disc of second; webbing formula on foot I 1, II ½–2, III 1½–2, IV 2–2, V 1; tarsal ridge present; inner and outer metatarsal tubercles present; submandibular tubercles absent; dorsal tubercles present but small, low, and rounded; no dorsolateral row of enlarged tubercles on sides or back; no oblique flap of skin on either side of vent; abdomen and gular region coarsely granular; iris black; no light spots on the gular region or abdomen; no suborbital or postorbital white markings; no light interscapular spot; no light crossbars on hind limbs, no light vertebral stripe. These character states are scored across all species of Ansonia in Table 4.


Distribution. Ansonia khaochangensis sp. nov. is known only from the type locality at Takua Pa District, Phang Nga Province, southern Thailand (Fig. 1).

Natural history. Ansonia khaochangensis sp. nov. is only known from the Khao Chang tower karst formation that rises precipitously to an elevation of 125 m and frames the northwest border of the city of Phang Nga (Fig. 6). Along the southeast face of the karst formation is the massive Phung Chang Cave that has a subterranean water system that runs beneath the karst tower. This southeast face is also riddled with several smaller caves. Approximately 0.5 km southwest of the mouth of Phung Chang Cave is a very small opening at the base of the karst tower that winds its way inward for approximately 20 m wherein we found A. khaochangensis sp. nov. (Fig. 6). During the day, specimens were found only within the recesses of the cave on the vertical cave walls as high as 3 m above the cave floor. To escape, toads were able to move sideways up the cave walls in an attempt to wedge themselves into narrow cracks near the celling. Toads were also observed in the cave at night but would venture out to climb on the outside of the karst tower. Some specimens were found as high as 10 m above the forest floor both on the karst and sitting on the leaves of small plants growing out of the karst. The distinctive, virtually monochromatic, brown coloration of this species appears to be a result of substrate matching in that frogs are reasonably well-camouflaged on the limestone substrate. We interpret this as an indication that this microhabitat is not something that is occasionally utilized and that this genus, which has a lotic life style elsewhere, has adapted to this microhabitat over a long period of time in that it split off from its sister lineage approximately 5.5 Mya (Fig. 3).

The reproductive biology of this species is completely unknown. Most other Ansonia require fast-moving lotic systems and all require water for tadpole development. We assume that there are other sources of underground water that these toads must be using for reproduction because there are no above-ground systems nearby that we could find. Fieldwork is currently being planned to investigate this species’ presumably unique reproductive biology.

Etymology. The specific epithet khaochangensis is in reference to the type locality of this species in the Khao Chang tower karst formation.

L. Lee Grismer, Perry L. Wood Jr, Anchalee Aowphol, Michael Cota, Marta S. Grismer, Matthew L. Murdoch, Cesar Aguilar and Jesse L. Grismer. 2016. Out of Borneo, Again and Again: Biogeography of the Stream Toad Genus Ansonia Stoliczka (Anura: Bufonidae) and the Discovery of the First Limestone Cave-dwelling Species.
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.  DOI:  10.1111/bij.12886 

[Botany • 2000] Corybas ecarinatus | เอื้องอัญมณี • A New Orchid Species (Orchidaceae) from Peninsular Thailand

 Corybas ecarinatus Anker & Seidenf.


A new species of the genus Corybas is proposed. It is the first record of the genus from Thailand.

Corybas ecarinatus K. Anker & G. Seidenf. sp. nov.

Ex affinitate Corybas praetermissi J. Dransf. & J. Comber (Comber 1990), a quo folia magis orbicularia, roseo-venosa, flores multo minores, discolores, sepalo postico albo, ecristato, sepalis lateralibus petalisque purpureis differt. 

Katja Anker and Gunnar Seidenfaden. 2000. Corybas ecarinatus sp, now (Orchidaceae) from Thailand. Nordic Journal of Botany. 20(5); 557–559.
DOI: j.1756-1051.2000.tb01604.x

รัฐวิทย์ สราวุธวินัย, พัฒน ทวีโภค, ครรชิต ธรรมศิริ และ สันติ วัฒฐานะ. 2556. รูปแบบการสืบพันธุ์ของกล้วยไม้เฉพาะถิ่นของภาคใต้ของไทย Corybas ecarinatus Anker & Seidenfaden [Breeding System of an Endemic orchid from Southern Thailand Corybas ecarinatus Anker & Seidenfaden]. 
บทความวิจัย เสนอในการประชุมหาดใหญ่วิชาการ ครั้งที่ 4 
10 พฤษภาคม 2556 (112); 25-31. 
Ratthawit Sarawutwinai, Patana Thavipoke, Kanchit Thammasiriand Santi Watthana

[Botany • 2016] Lifting the Curtain on Our Knowledge of New Guinean Benstonea (Pandanaceae)

FIGURE 2. AB. Benstonea ihuanaC. Benstonea rostellataD. Benstonea papuanaE. Benstonea permicron.
A. Photo: P. Homot. B. Photo: T. Laman. C. From Heatubun1253 (Photo: C. Heatubun). D. Heatubun et al. 1017 (Photo: C. Heatubun). E. Mustaqim et al. 1529 (Photo: W. Mustaqim) 

New Guinea is one of the centres of diversity of Benstonea (Pandanaceae), a genus distributed from India to Fiji. Ten species were previously recognised on this island and further field observations, accompanied by the study of available herbarium material have brought new insights into species delimitations within a group of caespitose species with a solitary terminal infructescence. The taxonomical identity of Benstonea odoardoi is elucidated and is considered here as a synonym of Benstonea lauterbachii. Three new combinations and a new name—based on names of Pandanus species previously treated as synonyms of Benstonea odoardoi—are proposed for four distinct species belonging to this group of caespitose species and restricted to Indonesian New Guinea and Papua New Guinea. Finally, Pandanus bintuniensis is here considered as a synonym of Benstonea permicron.

 Key words: taxonomy, Indonesian New Guinea, Pandanus, Papua New Guinea

Benstonea odoardoi is a synonym of the large tree B. lauterbachii
• Benstonea lauterbachii (Schumann & Warburg in Warburg 1900: 81) Callmander & Buerki in Callmander et al.(2012: 335).

Three new combinations, a new name and a new synonymy within caespitose species of Benstonea with solitary terminal syncarps

• Benstonea eumekes (H. St. John ex B.C. Stone) Callm. & Buerki, comb. nov. 
• Benstonea ihuana (Martelli) Callm. & Buerki, comb. nov.
• Benstonea rostellata (Merr. & L.M. Perry) Callm. & Buerki, comb. nov.

• Benstonea papuana Callm. & Buerki, nom. nov.

 Martin W Callmander, Ary P Keim, Charlie D. Heatubun, Peter Homot and Sven Buerki. 2016. Lifting the Curtain on Our Knowledge of New Guinean Benstonea (Pandanaceae).
Phytotaxa. 275(2); 168-174. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.275.2.8